Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Night of the Quadrantid Meteors

Late on the evening of January 2, we left home to travel to the Stone Barn of Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary to view and photograph the Quadrantid meteors.  Looking at the sky upon leaving the house, the sky was clear.  Checking the hourly weather channel forecast for Westport, it initially showed that the the skies would remain clear.  As we were turning onto route 88, we notice that the moon was in clouds.  Arriving at the stone barn, the sky was mostly cloudy with the moon blurred from the clouds, which in a photograph gave a ghostly feel to the image.

Two problems besides the intermittent clouds were a bright waning gibbous moon, and that the temperature was in the mid teens, with a wind chill that increase depending on how much wind was blowing.  To keep my camera lenses from fogging, I attached hand warmers around the lens barrel with a rubber band.

Observing the sky just after midnight, looking west, there are a number of bright objects in the sky.  Jupiter with Aldebaran close by, Orion with the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel and finally down to the left Sirius the dog star.

We did see a number of bright meteors, but on reviewing my photographs.  I did not capture any of them.  The moon and clouds wrecked havoc with my star trails photographs.  I did create two time lapse videos.

The next major meteor shower will be in April,the Lyrid meteor shower, and I will be there trying to photograph the meteors.  More information later.